Project Homecoming continues

Project Homecoming's Chet Harding, a Vietnam veteran, has repaired and reset 300 flag holders for veteran graves so far this year. This is a very important project that needs help. Storms over the past couple of years have really done a number on flag holders in many of Tioga County's cemeteries.

There's a call for volunteers from veterans or service or church organizations to visit cemeteries. Bring simple tools, epoxy, resins, metal bond, etc. to care for and save these holders of the American flag honoring veterans.

Project Homecoming's Chet Harding says his fall project is for cards, letters and packages from home for the troops for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Restoration of Tioga County veterans data ongoing

Tioga County Veterans News Briefs is rebuilding its files lost in the September 2011 flood. Today's focus: Who's currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq? Who's a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan? Who's received Valor Awards for Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Medal for Meritorious Service, and awards important to veterans.

Who's survived Pearl Harbor, Normandy, Battle of the Bulge, South Pacific Islands and other noteworthy battles?

Working on names of Gold Star Mothers from all wars, and POW/MIAs both living and deceased. Some fallen heroes names from the Korean War are missing from the Tioga County Veterans Memorial pending receipt of home addresses and more service related information from the family.

Veterans sought as storytellers for history

What was it like? What did you experience? What about families sharing veterans recollections of wartime service?

Social Studies students would love to interview or listen to a veteran. Veterans in the Classroom organizers are struggling to get veterans to share their stores. Veterans are being asked to do just one more patriotic thing by telling their stories. Students are patiently waiting to hear "unbelievable" accounts from every theater of war. You have a wartime memory - please share it with students.

Glenn A. Warner Post 1371 Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Day Chairman Jim Raftis by email to or phone (607) 687-4229 to provide information or ask questions or request a speaker for your group.

Veterans Day 11-11-11 AT TCVM

Veterans Day honors all American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. On Sunday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. at the Tioga County Veterans Memorial, Owego and Tioga County will celebrate the ending of World War One hostilities at 11 a.m., Nov. 11, 1918.

The public is invited to attend the south Courthouse Square ceremony to Honor All Who Served. Veterans are encouraged to gather around the memorials to fallen heroes to pay them tribute and receive thanks from a grateful community for their service and sacrifice

Wreaths Across America in our community

Wreaths Across America will conduct ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 15, at over 800 participating locations all around the nation including communities in Owego and Tioga County and the Valley towns of Waverly, South Waverly, Sayre and Athens.

Wreaths will be placed at Arlington National Cemetery, state and national veterans cemeteries, community and private cemeteries, veterans monuments, schools, military cemeteries on foreign soil and even ceremonies at sea.

Local support from church and community groups is essential. Here's what you can do:

Adopt a cemetery. Hang a wreath at the main entrance.

There are over 100-plus cemeteries in Tioga County's nine towns. By town there are 15 cemeteries in Barton, seven in Berkshire, 23 in Candor, 20 in Newark Valley, 16 in Nichols, 47 in Owego, four in Richford, eight in Spencer and six in Tioga. Revolutionary and Civil War veterans are buried in some cemeteries.

Families may place wreaths at the graves of related veterans.

The Tioga County Veterans Memorial receives seven ceremonial wreaths representing all branches of the service. They honor fallen heroes of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine and perhaps most importantly a wreath bearing the POW/MIA flag.

To learn more, visit

Local objective on or before Saturday, Dec. 15 is to place a wreath at the main entrance to each cemetery. Each church prepares and presents a brief wreath ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 9 or 15, and wreaths are visible at all veteran memorials.